Friday, February 13, 2009

No Darwin in the South

I know I live well South of the Mason-Dixon Line. The slower pace of life here, the older attitudes and the more formal politeness is often pleasant. Sure, there are prejudices and many of the public schools aren't very good (others are, naturally). There is a lot of societal stress due to Northern migration. Virginia was even a blue state in the last election. All in all, many people from many places live in Virginia and call it home.

That's why I was shocked that my kids' school didn't even mention the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin yesterday. Neither my fifth or second grader knew who he was, or why he was famous. They know now, though. We talked about the The Voyage of the Beagle, On the Origin of Species and The Decent of Man all through dinner. Tomorrow, I plan to describe his work on worms. Kids love that sort of thing, even more than discussions of sexual selection vs. natural selection.

Shame on Fredericksburg Academy! They call themselves a college prep school? They don't even teach sex education until seventh grade! By that time, the kids have had the chance to figure it out for themselves, often in inappropriate ways. I had "the talk" with my fifth grader earlier this year. He is better for it, too. I'm honestly looking forward to talking to the head of the Lower School when she gets the rant I just sent her on Monday morning.

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